'Hatch it out' is a programme run in primary schools which shows children chick development from fertilisation to hatching.

Transition year student in St Finian’s College in Mullingar John Glennon, who is from a dairy farm, runs the programme.

Explaining how it came about, he said: “I began selling chicks during lockdown as a hobby and got an idea to educate children about nature. My sister is a primary school teacher, so we ran the project in her school and it was a great success.”

Since its launch in January, the project has been to 15 schools in Offaly, Westmeath and Dublin.

The programme

The programme is five weeks in duration. An incubator is brought to the school with 20 fertilised eggs, which turns the eggs every hour for 21 days.

An incubator is brought to the school with 20 fertilised eggs. The incubator turns the eggs every hour for 21 days.

By day 10 of incubation, embryo development can be seen with a torch. On day 20 to 21, the egg cracks and the chick can be heard and will hatch over the next 24 hours.

When the chicks hatch, a container for the chicks - with sawdust, heat plate, water and feed - is brought into the school and the children can see them develop over the next two weeks.

After the two weeks, John can bring the chicks back to his farm or the school has the option of keeping the chicks - they can give them to the children or get a chicken coop for the school.


The project has got great feedback from teachers, which can lend itself to all curriculum areas.

One teacher described how there was “great excitement in the school among both children and staff. The children waited eagerly for the chicks to hatch and there was a constant buzz. Students from junior infants to sixth class learned a lot from the experience.”

Student enterprise

Three other students - Brian Gildillon, Jamie Gaffney and Ethan Meisonnave - are developing a workbook to go alongside the project.

The boys are in the TY student enterprise competition final, which takes place on 9 May in the Park Hotel in Mullingar.

More information can be had here.